On Choosing a Candidate

By Alden L. Benton

“Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.”
~John Adams

In my October 19 post (Thoughts on the Candidates’ Debate), I narrowed my choices for the Republican nominee to four candidates: Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Michelle Bachman.

In the intervening days, I have been thinking less about the candidates’ stands on issues, and more about their character.

These four candidates are all intelligent, capable conservatives.  Their views on the primary issues vary mostly in the details.  So how do we select the individual who will face down the president next year?


Character gives the individual the strength to pursue what is right and good.

Character gives the individual the strength to maintain his or her integrity.

Character gives the individual courage; courage to face both adversity and one’s adversaries.

When I think of character, I think of men like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, and Ronald Reagan.

In a 1962 speech to the cadets of the U.S. Military Academy, General Douglas MacArthur said:

“Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.  They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn….They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for actions, not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never to take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.”

(Full text here: General MacArthur’s Thayer Award Speech — Duty, Honor, Country (1962).  Audio of original speech here: Duty, Honor, Country Audio)

This is what I seek in a candidate, in a president.

I find these attributes in only two of the current candidates: Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachman.

These two individuals embody sound moral and ethical principles based in their faith.  They both have served their country in various capacities.  They both have integrity, strength, and character.  They have the strength to say what needs to be said, even if it is unpleasant.  Their principles don’t change with each shift of the political wind.

I have had enough of a narcissistic, megalomaniac president who is totally lacking in principles, integrity, and character.  His failings, coupled with a similar failure of character pandemic in the political system, have brought our great nation to its knees.


The principles and character exhibited by Gingrich and Bachman are the elixir our nation needs.

They are positive, uplifting, forward-looking, and hopeful.  Their policies are based on the conservative pillars of personal liberty, personal responsibility, national sovereignty, strong national defense, fiscal responsibility, and small government.

Obama and his crooks, cronies, and communists, have weakened us and enslaved us. 

It is time for real, substantive change. 

Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachman offer us the future and true hope Ronald Reagan spoke of when he announced his candidacy in 1979:

A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.

©2011 Alden L Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
If you want to reuse this material, please follow this link to obtain copyright permission:  aldenbenton.icopyright.com


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